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Sunday, September 24, 2023

Staff Editorial

Politics shouldn’t shade one’s greatness, legacy

Add The Daily Cougar to the list of publications that are totally befuddled in the fact that former head basketball coach Guy V. Lewis still has not been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Not one member of the editorial board was even alive during his 30-year tenure at UH, but that doesn’t matter.

His list of accomplishments speaks for itself, and Lewis has certainly met the necessary criteria to become a Hall of Fame coach. Lewis made it to five Final Fours and won 592 games. He coached three players, Elvin Hayes, Clyde Drexler and Hakeem Olajuwon, that went on to become some of the greatest professional athletes ever.

Other coaches are in the Hall of Fame with fewer Final Four appearances and fewer wins. When contradictions like this can be pointed out, it makes sense critics would suggest selection to the hall is nothing but political.

Dick Vitale of ESPN has made a career out of being a flamboyant television analyst, and that somehow earned him a spot in the Hall. While sports analysis is necessary, it should not hold a candle to someone who was a groundbreaker for college sports.

To borrow a page from Kanye West’s book of protesting award shows, the Hall of Fame loses credibility with each passing year it decides to leave Lewis out.

We can take solace in the fact that Lewis is in the College Basketball Hall of Fame — he was inducted in 2007. Even if the various committees involved in the selection process can ever wake up and vote Lewis in, it will still be delayed. It will be like when Martin Scorsese finally won an Academy Award for best picture, it was just a make-up for all the other instances when he was snubbed.

With Houston hosting the Final Four, there was some light shed on this injustice — time will tell if it was in vain or not.

Regardless if Lewis is ever recognized by the Hall of Fame or not, the impact he made here can be seen to this day — the court at Hofheinz Pavilion is named for him.

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